Came home to over half my chickens missing or torn apart

Matejka

Crowing
Mar 12, 2020
1,107
2,982
321
Lyons Texas
Most likely, the 3 missing are hiding and hopefully show up today.
Its hard losing a bird, devastating to lose that many, I'm sorry.
I had a flock of 7, neighbors dog got 5 in about 1 1/2 hours. Decimated coop wire and got the rest the next day (before I could get coop repaired). I had to think long and hard before I decided to get more chickens. Now I have a temp flock of 3, they are meat birds (cornish x)and gonna get some dual purpose chicks this spring.
Again, its hard and I understand your anger/frustration especially when you don't know what happened.
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 3, 2009
114,920
310,465
1,957
New Jersey
Be on high alert and ready to shoot today. Hopefully some of the missing birds have returned this morning. Good luck in resolving this.
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
13 Years
Nov 18, 2007
25,518
17,564
771
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
So sorry for your losses. I agree with @Howard E. It could have been most any predator. Glad your putting a camera up. I have several cameras. I have some on posts that I can move around. I have a couple of coops that are open on one side. I did put tarps over the open sides. Every night the birds go into their coop and roosts. Not sure why your birds won't go in. Maybe it's the roosts. Just guessing. I do have night lights in all of my coops. They are 1 watt LED's. I hope you figure out what the predator is and the missing birds are hiding and will show up. Good luck...
Just over a month ago a bobcat outside of my chick/grow-out coop. I do have electric wires around the coops and pens due to losses from predators in the past. I'm sure it knows the hot wires are there.
DSCF0002112 09Rev.jpg
 

kat_and_hens

Chirping
Oct 18, 2020
71
150
83
Maine
oh my goodness, how awful. I am so sorry this happened to you. I hope you can catch the culprit on the game cameras, and that the missing birds are hiding out somewhere.
 

bill3607

Songster
Aug 24, 2020
197
596
138
Alabama
It was a mink, weasel or one of the cousins.

If you have an open access coop, I'm surprised they lasted as long as they did.
I have not had a weasel attack before so I do not know. However, I have heard from others that weasels will just just suck the blood out but leave the chicken for the most part intact. I am not saying that is true only what I have heard. So, is that not the case??
 

Howard E

Crowing
5 Years
Feb 18, 2016
2,876
3,894
296
Missouri
Well you are not the OP, but since you asked.........pattern of kill is always a clue as to whodunnit. A lot of dead birds killed all at once, with missing heads, bites to the back of the neck, etc. is almost always a mink, weasel or one of the cousins (fisher cat, martin, etc. iin northern climates). Others will kill a lot of birds (dogs, etc) but pattern of kill is different.

Weasels, mink, ferrets, etc, are all from the same family. They are some of natures most vicious predators of rats, mice, rodents, etc, Said to kill for sport......not exactly true, but rather are hard wired to kill in abundance when abundance presents itself. When they go into a killing spree, they kill anything that moves. They are effecient at it.....going for the back of the neck at base of the skull and spine.....they bite down and severe the spine, killing instantly. The blood thing is probably an extension of biting the neck and severed heads. Yes.....that would be bloody, but not what they are after.

What normally attracts them to the chickens is not the chickens but rats and mice that are attracted to the spilt chicken feed but they will transition to killing birds in a heartbeat. They are killing machines, so will come back.

Way to keep birds safe is to house them in a tight coop that predators can't get in. No openings larger than 1 inch for weasels and not much larger for a mink. Long slender bodies are made go into rodent tunnels, so plan accordingly.

But in the case of the OP, birds nesting on the ground in the open would be goners. Around here they wouldn't last 2 days. Only bird I've had that pulled that stunt didn't last 12 hours.
 

bill3607

Songster
Aug 24, 2020
197
596
138
Alabama
Well you are not the OP, but since you asked.........pattern of kill is always a clue as to whodunnit. A lot of dead birds killed all at once, with missing heads, bites to the back of the neck, etc. is almost always a mink, weasel or one of the cousins (fisher cat, martin, etc. iin northern climates). Others will kill a lot of birds (dogs, etc) but pattern of kill is different.

Weasels, mink, ferrets, etc, are all from the same family. They are some of natures most vicious predators of rats, mice, rodents, etc, Said to kill for sport......not exactly true, but rather are hard wired to kill in abundance when abundance presents itself. When they go into a killing spree, they kill anything that moves. They are effecient at it.....going for the back of the neck at base of the skull and spine.....they bite down and severe the spine, killing instantly. The blood thing is probably an extension of biting the neck and severed heads. Yes.....that would be bloody, but not what they are after.

What normally attracts them to the chickens is not the chickens but rats and mice that are attracted to the spilt chicken feed but they will transition to killing birds in a heartbeat. They are killing machines, so will come back.

Way to keep birds safe is to house them in a tight coop that predators can't get in. No openings larger than 1 inch for weasels and not much larger for a mink. Long slender bodies are made go into rodent tunnels, so plan accordingly.

But in the case of the OP, birds nesting on the ground in the open would be goners. Around here they wouldn't last 2 days. Only bird I've had that pulled that stunt didn't last 12 hours.
I was not trying to steal the OP thread. Sorry about that. Thanks for reply.
 

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